Science classes visit harbor, aquarium

The Genetics and Biotechnology class went on a fishing trip to Ventura Harbor on April 17 for a DNA barcoding project, and the Oceanography and Marine Biology class went to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach on April 17.

The Genetics students took a boat to Channel Islands National Park, where they and the two chief scientists from Coastal Marine Biolabs fished for rockfish and sampled their DNA.

DNA barcoding is a technique used to identify all living organisms by sequencing portions of their DNA.

The Genetics and Biotechnology class is participating in a world-wide project to create DNA barcoding libraries for species identification and management, science teacher David Hinden said. The students curate DNA sequences, and the product is uploaded to national databanks in the United States, Japan and Europe. Students are given publication credit for their work.

“We did this to give students a better idea of what is involved in the actual collection of data and why the DNA barcoding project is essential to species management,” Hinden said.

The students in Oceanography and Marine Biology observed live marine organisms and learned techniques for maintaining them in aquariums, science teacher Blaise Eitner said.

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